Walter Isaacson

Tulane University

Leonard Lauder Professor of American History and Values

Walter Isaacson is the Leonard Lauder Professor of American History and Values at Tulane. He is the former CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a Distinguished Fellow, and has been the chairman of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci (2017), The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). He is a host of the show “Amanpour and Company” on PBS and CNN, a contributor to CNBC, and host of the podcast “Trailblazers, from Dell Technologies.” Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003. He is chair emeritus of Teach for America. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held from 2009 to 2012. He had been a member of the New Orleans City Planning Commission. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on the board of United Airlines, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Society of American Historians, New Schools for New Orleans, the U.S. Defense Department Innovation Board, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. He is an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm based in New York City.

Author of "The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race"

Available on Amazon

SESSIONS WITH Walter Isaacson

Monday, 1 March

  • 01:30pm - 02:00pm (CST) / 01/mar/2021 07:30 pm - 01/mar/2021 08:00 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Walter Isaacson, Best-selling Author of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race.

    Interview Innovation & Technology

    Voices of Innovation with Walter Isaacson, author The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race and Leonard Lauder Professor of American History and Values at Tulane University. Prof. Isaacson—best-selling author of Einstein, Steve Jobs, Leonardo Da Vinci, and The Innovators—shares insights from his latest book on the Nobel Prize–winning scientist whose discovery of CRISPR, the tool that can edit DNA, opens a brave new world of medical miracles as well as moral questions. Interviewed by Susan Hockfield, President Emerita and Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, the first woman to lead MIT. Join these two thought leaders on innovation and science.

Thursday, 4 March

  • 10:30am - 11:00am (CST) / 04/mar/2021 04:30 pm - 04/mar/2021 05:00 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Dr. Noubar Afeyan: Innovative ventures in biotech & science

    Interview Innovation & Technology

    The development of the COVID 19 vaccine in record-breaking time is one of the signature innovations of the 21st century, and a milestone in human history. Hear from the founder how it came about, what lies ahead, and what are the learnings? Born in Beirut, Dr. Afeyan is Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a VC focused on biotechnology that has fostered development of over 100 scientific ventures resulting in $20 billion in total value and over 500 patents—and more than 50 drugs in clinical development. Interviewed by Walter Isaacson, best-selling author and thought leader on innovation and the history of biotech. 

  • 01:00pm - 01:30pm (CST) / 04/mar/2021 07:00 pm - 04/mar/2021 07:30 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Charif Souki, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board, Tellurian Inc.

    Interview Innovation & Technology

    A pioneer of the US LNG industry and a leading energy entrepreneur and visionary, Mr. Souki previously founded Cheniere Energy, Inc. In this Voices of Innovation, he will share what led him to pivot overnight from his plans of being an LNG importer to becoming a major US exporter. How does he see the future of energy transition and the role of natural gas? What are the innovation opportunities ahead and how can energy companies seize them? Interviewed by best-selling author Walter Isaacson.